A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is a strategic business statement similar to a vision statement which is created to focus an organization on a single medium-long term organization-wide goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible. – Wikipedia
Though it is traditionally a business concept, I have always loved the notion of a personal “big, hairy, audacious goal” for military spouses. We talk about SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound) all the time, but spend less time talking about the reach goals. I think it’s because we think and plan in terms of 18 – 36 month intervals. The danger in this is that we put ourselves in “wait mode” by default. Waiting until things settle down, or until the kids are all in school, or until we’re no longer moving every few years. Waiting for the perfect circumstances. But here’s the thing, the time’s going to pass anyway. Why not take some time every year to think about where you want to be in 10 or 20 years?
In the corporate world, a Big Hairy Audacious Goal should be a long term goal (at least 10 years). It should be innovative, exciting, but most importantly, ambitious. It should be very, very ambitious and seem almost impossible to achieve. How does that translate to a personal BHAG?
Start by letting go of your limitations. Commit to the exercise and really let go. What would you do if you knew there was nothing standing in your way? Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? Maybe it means selling your business so you can travel the world, or serving on some corporate boards or buying a vacation home, or retiring to a beach at 65. The sky is the limit, but your guiding thought should be this – your Big Hairy Audacious Goal should excite you. It should motivate you and allow you to tap into what you’re most passionate about. If you feel like sharing, drop us a comment and let us know what you came up with.